234. Vanilla Maple Walnut Milk and Dairy Free Creamer

Vanilla Maple Walnut Milk | Ann Ning Learning How

I don’t even like walnuts, and I love this milk. I’ve made it daily for the past 2 weeks. Ai Ai got some mason jars for me to store my milk in, and they are perfect for me to pour milk into since they have a wide mouth and a lid that’s good for my pre-pour shake routine. Ai Ai has some smaller mason jars that are perfect for holding my non-dairy creamer.

There’s no straining because I’m still recommending a greatly reduced ratio of nuts : water relative to what I usually see in recipes. As opposed to 1c nuts to 4c water I usually use ¼ c nuts to 4 c water. If the mood strikes I might use 1/3 of a cup of nuts or just dispense with measuring and throw a handful or two into a mug. If I want a treat I’ll throw a spoonful of unsweetened shredded coconut in with the rest of the ingredients, and blend away.

I also made some non-dairy creamer by just increasing the ratio of nuts:water. My method has developed since my Sweet Cream post so that we’re making it all from scratch. Ever since Ernie got me hooked on wheat grass I have lost my appetite for matcha, and I’m not going to see CMD all the time so she won’t worry about caffeine constricting my blood vessels, I’m back to drinking coffee and black tea – hence the need for creamer.

I will be seeing CMD soon, though, (YAY!) so I’m glad I thought about this milk since it’s the only kind of milk I’ve made so far that I actually prefer not to add a shot of espresso to. It’s so rich and maple-y I can slurp up two tall glasses of iced milk in the morning and be very happy. This will be a perfect pre-acupuncture drink.

Vanilla Maple Walnut Milk
Makes about 4 cups

  • 1/4-1/3 c walnuts, soaked
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1/8 c Grade B maple syrup (B has a richer flavor) OR a couple of drops of natural maple flavor (I HIGHLY recommend getting some maple flavoring) plus sweetener (e.g. honey or agave) to taste
  • dash of cinnamon
  • splash of vanilla extract

Drain and rinse the walnuts, and add them into the blender along with all of the other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Stir or shake before serving (there will be a little sediment.)

Easy Non-Dairy Creamer | Ann Ning Learning How

Non-Dairy Creamer

  • ½ c nuts – e.g. almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts etc.
  • 1.5 c water
  • splash of vanilla (and/or maple, if you like)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • sweetener of choice to taste, or 4-6 dates
  • a small spoonful of coconut oil (like the Detoxinista!) – this makes it creamier, and obviously fattier. There’s a slight hint of coconutty taste. You can omit it if you like, but I think it’s lovely.

Pour the nuts into a mug and cover them with water. Microwave them for 60-90 seconds. Drain, rinse, and add them into the blender along with all of the other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Stir or shake before serving (there will be sediment.)

205. How to Make No Strain Dairy Free Milk

No Strain Dairy Free Milk | Ann Ning Learning How

This milk is “no strain” in a couple of ways:  (A) It requires minimal effort and (B) you do not need to strain the milk with cheesecloth or a dedicated milk bag.  Aaah – just my kind of recipe – no heavy lifting and fewer opportunities to spill.  Disclaimer:  I don’t know if my accelerated soaking method messes with the way nuts are really supposed to be soaked – I’m just going on visual cues.  They look the same as when I soak them for hours, but if you require the digestive/nutritional benefits of a full soak, go the traditional route – cover them in filtered water and soak them overnight (some people say 3-8).   I woke up this morning, put a bunch of hazelnuts to soak in just-boiled water, took my shower, and will go upstairs and make some iced hazelnut lattes.  YUM!!

In the picture you see a few different types of milk:  1)  Coconut  (tall carafe), 2) Vanilla Almond, 3) Chocolate Almond.  I’ve also tried this with hazelnuts and cashews and it’s great.  The coconut and hazelnut milks make terrific lattes, especially since I’ve been into sweetening my milk with 4 dates and adding vanilla and cinnamon.  This is so quick and easy it’s really doable, otherwise I wouldn’t be advocating this sort of milk-making behavior.  It’s like, seriously?  Just go to the store.

Now I love my favorite unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but I read in a few places that it’s actually better to make DF milk yourself since your body is better off without the fortification (calcium, vitamins) store-bought milk usually comes with.  It’s counterintuitive because I drink lots of milk and think to myself, where else am I going to get calcium?  Well, it turns out that you can get calcium from other foods.  Sardines, for instance have a heavy calcium punch, and I like them a lot.  So I’m going to give this homemade milk thing a try and seek calcium elsewhere.

No Strain Dairy Free Milk
Makes 4 cups of milk, but you can double/half it etc.

(1) Choose your milk base, e.g.

      • raw almonds
      • raw cashews
      • toasted or raw hazelnuts
      • unsweetened shredded coconut

(2) Soak your base:  place ¼ nuts in a mug.  Cover with just-boiled water, let sit for an hour.  A ¼ cup is about a quarter of the usual amount of nuts I’ve seen in many recipes online that require straining.  I figure if I’m not going to strain, though, I don’t want to be eating all those nuts.  Even if I did strain my milk I probably wouldn’t want to ingest all of that.  So I have been using my reduced ratio without diminished enjoyment – my siblings quite like it too.  

(3) Blend:  Drain and rinse the nuts, but if you’re using coconut, don’t do this.  Dump the base into your blender – of course, I use a Vitamix.  Add any flavorings along with the 4 cups of water:  my favorite = 4 dates, splash of vanilla, dash of cinnamon, and if I want chocolate, spoonful of cocoa.    Blend on high until smooth – froth is good.  I found the coconut took longer to blend.  As with all DF milk there will be sediment, so if your milk has been sitting in a pitcher, shake or stir vigorously before serving.

So the ratio is ¼ base: 4 c water.  I don’t think this is a lot of milk, but that’s intentional – I don’t want this to sit in the fridge too long, and this method is so easy I can make it often.  The hardest part is choosing what kind of milk I want.  Ooh!  It’s been an hour – I’m going to go make my hazelnut milk now.  Bye :).

I’m back.  The hazelnut milk was great.  I made an iced latte in the morning and chocolate milk in the afternoon.  This method is so easy you can go make a pitcher of milk right now.  I just did 8 cups to make sure it doubles well, and it does.  So go make some milk, pour a nice tall glass for yourself with ice cubes in it, and munch on a chocolate chip cookie, or if you have apple pie in your house, that would be a great way to celebrate the 4th.  While you’re at it you can watch Ed being patriotic: (click the image for the video)

Ed Goes to DC_Rocket Pop | Ann Ning Learning how